Site Plan & Subdivision Approval is the review process used by the City to ensure that new development or redevelopment complies with the standards in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), the City Code of Ordinances, and any terms and conditions of development approval.
The Site & Subdivision Plan review and approval process is handled administratively through the Technical Review Committee (TRC). The TRC is a group of City staff members and representatives from outside agencies such as PWC, NCDOT and Cumberland County Schools. The City utilizes the TRC process to ensure that development complies with the standards in the UDO, the City Code of Ordinances, and any terms and conditions of development approval.
Technical Review Committee (TRC) Submittal Deadlines & Review Schedule
The City offers all potential applicants a FREE Pre-Submittal TRC Conference. Allow 2 weeks. (See First-Time Submittal Review Schedule below).
- Clear-cutting (Tree Removal) Permit Application
- Standards & Requirements for Clear-cutting Application, Section 30-2.C.9
- Tree Preservation Incentives & Protection, Section 30-2.C.9
- Pre-application Conference Application
- Site Plan Application
- Subdivision Application
- Subdivision Waiver Application
Technical Review Committee (TRC)
Plans are required to be reviewed by the Technical Review Committee (TRC) for:
- Nonresidential developments that are 2500 sq. ft. or more;
- Multifamily development with two or more buildings or one building with eight or more units; or
- Subdivision of property, unless expressly exempted by the Code (subdivision exemptions are detailed in the section below).
TRC review is also encouraged for other projects and is done as a courtesy review with NO fee required.
The Process begins when a completed Application along with three (3) copies of the Plans and the Fee is submitted and a pdf of the plan is emailed to the Planning & Zoning Division. However, a Pre-submittal Conference to assist in finalizing the basic layout of the development is encouraged prior to a formal submittal.
Plans may be reviewed in one or two phases:
- Preliminary Plan Review- includes the application and fee, and
- Final Plan Review- includes detailed landscape plans, lighting plans, and elevations.
Most developments are a staff review through the TRC; however, some subdivisions may be subject to a Neighborhood Compatibility Permit which does require a Public Hearing before the Planning Commission (see below for more information).
After a complete submittal has been received, Plans are distributed to several City departments and external agencies that could potentially be affected by the development. Those include but are not limited to: City Engineering and Traffic Services, Parks and Recreation, NC Dept. of Transportation, Public Works Commission, Cumberland County Schools and County Addressing, etc.
The TRC meets every Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.
Please see the Review Schedule (above) for meeting deadlines and dates of review. The applicant and/or project engineer are encouraged to attend the meetings. Draft comments are emailed to the applicant/engineer prior to the TRC meeting and after the meeting is held final comments are compiled and emailed to the applicant/engineer. The Code provides that Applications must have formal action taken within 30 days of submission, resubmittals are required within 45 days of the initial review, and after final approval is given plans are valid for two (2) years. A Vested Rights Certificate if required if an applicant is not planning to proceed with development and wishes to “vest” their approval.
Developers/engineers must work directly with: City Engineering Department to obtain approval of stormwater/drainage plans; City Traffic Services to obtain approval of a driveway permit; City Zoning Division to obtain approval of building permits and signage; City Sign Shop to coordinate installation of required street signage and markings (Dean Sears, (910) 4331521); and the Public Works Commission to obtain approval of water and sewer plans, and in some cases, electrical plans.
For more information, contact Marsha Bryant, Development Advocate, at (910) 433-1416.
Subdivision standards regulate the division of land within the City land into individual lots or the relocation of existing lot lines and are one of the City’s primary tools for the coordination of City street and public infrastructure systems as development in the City occurs.
The subivision procedure requires review and approval of a “plat,” or a map of proposed lot lines, streets, and easements. The plat must be recorded in the Register of Deeds office. A Plat Activation Form has to be signed in the County Mapping Office requesting the update of the parcel property lines as shown on the plat. Permits cannot be issued until the subdivision is mapped and the P.I.N. is created.
The following plats are exempted from subdivision regulations, provided however, that the plats of these four exemptions shall have Planning & Zoning Division’s stamp of "No Approval Required" before recording in the Register of Deeds Office.
- The combination or recombination of portions of previously platted lots where the total number of lots is not increased and the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of the municipality, as shown in its subdivision regulations.
- The division of land into parcels greater than five acres where no street right-of-way dedication is involved.
- The public acquisition by purchase of strips of land for the widening or opening of streets.
- The division of a tract, under single ownership, whose entire area is no greater than two acres, into not more than three lots, where no street right-of-way dedication is involved, and where the resultant lots are equal to or exceed the standards of the municipality, as shown in its subdivision regulations.
For more information, contact Marsha Bryant, Development Advocate at (910) 433-1416.
Neighborhood Compatibility Permit
Neighborhood Compatibility Permits may be required for the following types of development:
- Certain Zero Lot Line developments on parcels containing three (3) or less acres in area;
- Adaptive reuse projects; or
- Cottage developments.
The Planning Commission holds a Public Hearing to consider the proposed development. In reviewing the development the Planning Commission shall take the following matters into consideration:
- The extent to which the proposed development plan deviates from the development standards otherwise applicable in Chapter 30;
- The rationale provided by the applicant for the deviations;
- The extent to which the proposed development plan promotes city goals for neighborhood compatibility, adaptive reuse, and high quality development; and
- The degree to which the proposed development plan creatively and effectively addresses the issues and constraints unique to the site with regard to topography, access, property utilization, and similar factors, as applicable.
The Planning Commission may Deny or Approve the proposed Neighborhood Compatibility Permit in part or in total and may establish conditions regarding Approval. Appeals of Planning Commission decisions may be made to the City Council in accordance with the procedures for such Appeals set forth in Article 30-2 of the City’s Unified Development Ordinance.
For more information, contact Marsha Bryant, Development Advocate, at (910) 433-1416.
Zero Lot Line Subdivisions
In addition to traditional development, the Code allows Zero Lot Line developments to provide flexibility in lot layout for greater development efficiency and density and/or in addressing site constraints.
All Zero Lot Line developments, regardless of size or number of units, shall comply with all applicable development standards in Article 30-5 of the City’s Unified Development Ordinance, including the Single-Family, Multi-Family, Commercial, Office, Mixed-Use, Large Retail, and Transitional Standards.
Zero Lot Line developments, if located on sites smaller than three acres, may require a Neighborhood Compatibility Permit. A Neighborhood Compatibility Permit may be required where the median platted lot size of the lots adjoining the street in the block in which the development is proposed is 200% or more than the minimum lot size of the underlying zoning district(s), or where a Zero Lot Line development is proposed with principal structures located behind other principal structures that front on adjoining streets and such principal structures are not “shielded” by the frontage structures for 25% or more than the length of the frontage, excluding the width of drives or streets.For more information, contact Marsha Bryant, Development Advocate, at (910) 433-1416.